The Esplanade shopping center will launch its annual “Safety Town” program for children today.
A cooperative effort between the center and the Oxnard Police Department, the free program teaches children ages 4 to 7 the rules of the road, including stoplights, bicycle safety and proper street crossing.
The police will fingerprint and photograph participants to create free ID kits.
“The program is just to reinforce things that children are being taught at home,” said Esplanade marketing director Leticia Wilson.
The 30-minute classes include a one-on-one police-guided tour of the center’s Safety Town, a miniature version of city streets. Children will ride a bicycle or tricycle around the town, following signs and watching out for danger.
The program prepares children for traffic hazards, said Oxnard police Officer Ken Klopman.
After the class, he said, “the children are just a little bit more aware of some of the things they’re going to encounter on the street.”
The first 300 children to complete the 30-minute classes will receive pop-up books. Seating is limited to about 30 children in each class, and preregistration applications are available at the mall.
Classes are held daily in The Esplanade on the hour from noon to 5 p.m. The program ends Aug. 9.
Call 485-1146 for more information.